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Mount Rainier National Park: Glacier Basin

This 8-mile out-and-back, less than four miles northeast of Mount Rainier, leads to stunning views of glaciers, expansive valleys, and Washington’s signature mountain.

Trip Tools

Start at the Glacier Basin trailhead in the White River Campground, and hike west on a wide, smooth trail that was reconstructed after the 2007 washout. At mile one, fork left at the junction with Emmons Moraine Trail for a .4-mile (one-way) detour to a viewpoint overlooking the 4.3-square-mile Emmons Glacier (the largest glacier in the Lower 48). Backtrack to the main trail and turn left for a gradual climb up the valley. At mile 3.2, continue straight at the 3-way junction with Burroughs Mountain/Sunrise Trails, and continue another 0.7 mile to the Glacier Basin Camp. In summer and fall, black bears forage for huckleberries in these meadows. A half-mile walk farther up the valley leads to five-star views of The Wedge and the entire basin.

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to

PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations requests accepted by fax or mail, starting on March 15th of each year ($20/reservation). Download form at

CONTACT Mt. Rainier National Park, (360) 569-2211;

-Mapped by Eli Boschetto, Bosco Mountain Photo

To Trailhead

From Enumclaw, WA, go 38 miles on WA 410 E, then right on Sunrise Park Rd. In 5.3 miles, turn left on White River Rd. and drive 1.3 miles to White River Campground. Park in climber's lot; trailhead is at back of "D" loop.

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